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First Hurdle Cleared As Mich. Senate Approves Medicaid Expansion To Low-Income Adults

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate has voted to expand Medicaid to more low-income adults .

The vote clears a big hurdle for implementing a key but optional component of the federal health care law. The GOP-led House is expected to pass the legislation next week, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder may sign it quickly.

The plan would provide Medicaid to 320,000 more low-income adults in 2014 and more down the line.

The Senate didn't get enough votes to give the bill immediate effect, which may complicate how quickly the expansion can occur.

Michigan State AFL-CIO President Karla Swift reacted to the passage of Medicaid expansion:

Medicaid expansion is a victory for over 400,000 of Michigan's most vulnerable families, but the way in which it was passed was plagued with political gamesmanship and months of delays. Today's vote made it clear that the Tea Party controls some Lansing politicians," she said.

"While they were busy playing games and negotiating back room deals, the lives of children, veterans, and the working poor were on the line. We urge our representatives in the House to pass the revised bill as soon as possible. Every second counts in the lives of Michigan's most vulnerable citizens."

Pastor Robert Cornwall, president of the Metro Coalition of Congregations (MCC), an affiliate of the Harriet Tubman Center weighed in on the vote:

"This is a huge victory for low income Michiganders who would have otherwise been excluded from receiving the benefits promised by the Affordable Care Act," said Cornwall. "As people of faith, we, the MCC, believe it is our moral duty to stand with and give voice to the concerns of our brothers and sisters in need. This is what it means to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are very grateful that the Senate has listened to the people of Michigan and the Governor in making this landmark decision possible."

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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